If you have seen the latest instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise, you may have spotted a thoroughly mad mid-engined Dodge Charger driven by Vin Diesel’s character Dom Toretto.
The mid-engined Charger was built by US custom car builder SpeedKore specifically for the movie after it’s previous custom Charger (called Tantrum) appeared in Furious 7, but they weren’t happy leaving it as an on-screen only proposition, so have now made it a road-going reality with “Hellacious”.
Hellacious is SpeedKore’s first mid-engine classic muscle car, and one of the outfit’s most extreme builds to date, according to president and owner of SpeedKore, Jim Kacmarcik.
“After commissioning renowned designer Sean Smith to design the car and working with F9’s picture vehicle coordinator Dennis McCarthy to build the nine chassis and vehicle bodies for the film, we wanted to bring the movie magic of F9 to life,” he said.
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“Hellacious is a road-going version of the movie car with the functionality of a purpose-built performance car. We couldn’t be more excited to debut Hellacious alongside the actual film as yet another unique representation of our design and engineering capabilities as a custom car builder.”
But don’t think that Hellacious is just a chopped and dumped Charger with an engine jammed in where the rear seat should be – it is considerably more extensive than that, with a full carbon fibre body like SpeedKore’s previous Chargers, but with the addition of a bespoke wide body styled by Sean Smith Designs.
Pronounced fender cut-outs, unique body siding and a glass rear hatch to expose the engine compartment complete the aggressive bodywork while BASF Glasurit matte-black paint adds sinister style.
The custom Charger gets its power from a supercharged 6.2-litre Hellcat V8 mounted between the rear axles in a custom SpeedKore-engineered frame. The engine’s 527kW of power and 881Nm of torque make it to the rear wheels via a gated-manual Graziano transaxle from a Lamborghini Gallardo.
The Hellcat V8 breathes through a custom exhaust fabricated from MagnaFlow components; the SpeedKore-designed headers and dual mufflers are routed high in the chassis to clear the mid-engine powertrain before exiting through downward-facing tips.
A front-mount Saldana performance radiator keeps the engine cool while accommodating the mid-engine architecture of the car. At the rear, high-performance intercoolers feed cool air to the 2.4-litre supercharger.
The car sits on a custom SpeedKore-designed perimeter frame with double A-arm front suspension from Detroit Speed and an integrated rear cradle with double wishbone suspension from Race Car Replicas.
Brembo 6-piston calipers up front and dual Brembo 4-piston calipers out back do the stopping, while a hydraulic hand brake assists with drifts and slides. Of course, the wheels are custom too, with HRE 18-inch centre-lock wheels wearing 275/35R18 rubber up front and 345/35R18 down the back.
On the inside Hellacious boasts a “sparse, no-frills interior” with low-back racing seats and a Simpson harnesses, gauges from Classic Instruments mounted in an aluminium dashboard rand an integrated roll hoop.
To balance the extensive body modifications, SpeedKore included some subtle details as well – the vertical-slat grille uses factory 1968 Charger hideaway headlights, while shaved rain gutters and flush-mounted glass give a seamless side profile and a rear fascia with round quad taillights and a bronze stripe keyed to the colour of the wheels finish the look.
Hellacious is a one-off (apart from the nine movie versions SpeedKore made), but we imagine if you waved enough money at them, they would build you one as well.
Or you can just be happy with watching Hellacious in action in F9, which sees the return of Justin Lin as director, who helmed the third, fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of the series.
The film stars returning cast members Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster and Sung Kang, as well as Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron, while adding new characters played by John Cena and Cardi B.
Plus all the cars, which are after all the real stars.